Erik ten Hag criticised “inconsistent” VAR after Manchester United midfielder Casemiro was the sole player dismissed during an altercation in their 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Marcus Rashford’s goal and a penalty kick from Bruno Fernandes early on put United on track for their 13th straight victory at home in all competitions. However, Casemiro was sent off before Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp scored to cut the lead, making the game more intense.
Just before scoring, Schlupp knocked United winger Antony off the field, starting a brawl between the two teams that ended with Casemiro being shown a straight red card for fighting.
The VAR instructed referee Andre Marriner to inspect the pitch side monitor in order to assess video of Casemiro grabbing Palace’s Will Hughes by the throat. Due to Casemiro’s dismissal, the entire game lost its essence, and Ten Hag claimed Schlupp took a “huge risk” by pushing Antony off the field since he could have been “badly injured.”
The Dutchman also said that Palace’s Jordan Ayew should have certainly been dismissed for his actions in the ensuing altercation, lamenting the recent inconsistency of VAR.
As reported by The Mirror, Ten Hag said:
“It was a really high level first 70 minutes until the incident takes place and then you see this team stands for each other. It’s such a good spirit for the team and they don’t accept when a player from us can be badly injured.”
“That is the way Antony got treated. This team sticks together, but of course you have to control your emotions, but it’s really difficult in such a moment.”
“Then I see two teams fighting each other, I see two teams where players, several players, are crossing the line and then one player is picked out and sent off. For me, that’s not right.”
“You have to be consistent as a VAR. Last week we missed Christian Eriksen (who is out for three months) by a bad foul. No interference from VAR.”
“In Crystal Palace (last month), Martinez, he is running for two weeks with a mark on his eyebrow and (VAR’s) not interfering. I see this is not right.”
United have been dealing with a number of wrong VAR decisions over the last few days. Ten Hag’s men are at risk of getting injured or receiving a suspension, which could affect their game plan.
The Red Devils are already without Eriksen and Van de Beek. Scott McTominay’s fitness is also a major concern, and Casemiro also faces a suspension. United did sign Marcel Sabitzer this January, but things could get worse if the current trend continues to grow.
United won’t have much time to savour the hard-earned victory since Leeds United will face Leeds on Wednesday. Casemiro will miss the game and also the rematch, which will take place just four days later, as well as the home game against Leicester City on February 19th.